My sense of fashion has been wandering lately. Like a rogue traveler, it can’t seem to stay in one place: I’ve been pairing my feminine, frilly things with deconstructed jeans, my Grecian dresses with motorcycle boots. It’s an experimental phase that has brought some of my most neglected pieces to the forefront as I put them together in ways I’d never thought to before, and it makes me feel a little like a gypsy, caravanning from one ecclectic outfit to another.
When Mapel contacted me with a reminder that I had store credit to play around with, I chose to get something sparkly, trendy, and perfect for the holiday season…and when it came to my doorstep, I ignored how sparkly and silky it was, and dressed it down with religious amulets and (faux) snakeskin flats.
It seems “gypsy” is accurate.
The top is by Champagne Lace, a brand new designer out of Portland, Oregon. They released their first collection just a few months ago: a holiday-inspired set of silk tees and cardigans with vintage embellishments and sparkly details. They also recycle vintage chandeliers into some of the most delicate, interesting jewelry I’ve seen in a long time.
This was going to be a capsule collection – one holiday line, and that’s it – but Champagne Lace has been selling well enough that another round of designs has just made its way to Mapel’s storefront. It sounds like, as long as the designs continue to garner interest at Mapel’s website and Leavenworth location, Champagne Lace will keep creating and expanding both thier fashion and jewelry lines.
The thing I love most about this line is the one thing I expected it not to be: versatile. I can see this top transforming almost anything I wear with it: high waisted skirts, fleece pea coats, even diamonds and leather.
Champagne Lace has just added their second collection to Mapel’s online store, including some brand new, gorgeous jewelry.
The Waltzing Chandelier earrings ($32) and bracelet ($42) are perfect for Valentines dinners, spring trips to the symphony, dinner parties in which you look way better than the girl your ex started dating…they have such an old-world classiness to them without being too serious (or too expensive).
These cardigans are a great example of vintage embellishment. They’re pretty on their own, with great length and construction, but adding that hint of gold at the pocket (Peacock Adorned Silk Cardi, $48) or a hand-adorned chiffon bow (Bowtie Chiffon & Silk Cardi, $48) makes them a little less “prep school.” I’m a big proponent of buying basics, but I’ll always take a classic top with a little twist over something generic.
The Halo Chandelier Bracelet ($42) and Holiday Silk Headband ($18) are Champagne Lace’s more casual pieces of jewelry – I’d default them to “fun office chic” status – but still pretty and classy. I like that the headband doesn’t have the standard, everyday flower crap on it; this ruffled, knotted silk is much more fun.
Along with their cardigans and chandelier jewelry, Champagne Lace added more embellished silk tees to their second run. These are the long-sleeve versions (Copper Glimmer and Lustrous Golden, both $34) but you can still get the short-sleeved tops (which both Elle and I have) here. The surprise versatility of these extra-sustainable tees – silk! hand-embellished! vintage! made in the US! local indie designer! – make them a no-brainer for me.
Don’t forget: these prices include free shipping and a full satisfaction guarantee. Mapel is known for its customer service – that and their local status are why I can suggest their “corporate labels” without remorse – so it’s a safe place to take a risk, knowing you can always return something that doesn’t fit right or (god forbid) has a defect.
So, if you want, you can let your style “travel” a little.